Amazon: speed and convenience - Strategy and Innovation Report 2015
Amazon has long been at the forefront of retail development. It stands out in this the Strategy and Innovation Dimension both for its approaches to innovation and for the way it uses delivery to give its customers the most convenient experience it can.
While once Amazon innovated by offering free delivery and the lowest possible prices, it’s now moving away from that opening gambit. Instead, in an increasingly mature cross-channel market, it’s putting far more focus on convenience. It’s invested in delivery hubs in key UK cities that mean it can now get goods to its customers on the day they place their orders, or, in the case of its Prime Now service, within an hour of shoppers requesting delivery to a fast-expanding number of postcodes in London or Birmingham.
The fastest Prime Now delivery that Amazon had recorded by October 2015 was that of a Netgear wi-fi range extender, shipped from Amazon’s Bow delivery station and delivered to a Canary Wharf address at 10.44am, 12 minutes after the order was placed.
All this, allied with a battery of convenient collection options, has helped develop the kind of fulfilment service that helps this pureplay retailer continue to compete against bricks-and-mortar rivals that are now deploying popular click-and-collect services. The pureplay has even developed its own Amazon Logistics platform to enable some of that fulfilment.
Amazon has also concentrated on making ordering as simple as possible. Its one-click payments and proprietary checkout ensure that shoppers can pay easily. In the US, Amazon’s Dash button enables regular customers of its Amazon Fresh grocery service to place their orders by speaking them or scanning the barcode of the item they want to buy. In the UK, shoppers can add products from Amazon tweets directly to their Amazon baskets. Cross-channel baskets and wishlists together mean it’s always easy to buy, no matter what device the shopper is using. By thinking about what the customer wants, Amazon has added services such as free music downloads to consumers who bought the CD.
Indeed, Amazon has taken its brand of innovation beyond pure retail, not only offering digital downloads through its instant video service, but developing its own products and content, from its Kindle and Fire TV viewing devices to the television programmes themselves. Over the years, this has put Amazon ahead of the pack, setting the pace for others to follow. Amazon is recognised as the single Elite retailer in this Dimension.